Guest Post: Mike – GOE

Happy December! The school year is almost over. One more month plus that weird week for graduation and then we’re done!

The following is a guest post by my friend Mike.* (Names have been changed.) Mike’s perspective is especially interesting in that he is a vegetarian and did not particularly enjoy his time in Korea. Since writing this post, Mike has completed his 1 year contract and moved on. If you’re looking to teach in Korea, it’s always nice to read as many different perspectives as you can.

This is Mike’s story:

Anyong Haseyo,

I’m Mike and I’ve lived in Korea for 10 and a half months now. No, this isn’t my opening statement for Korea Anonymous, but I do have some confessions before I get into this. Confession 1: I’ve never written a blog piece before so apologies for this. Confession 2: I am a (strict) vegetarian, and as such I am on the periphery of Korean social culture which invariably centres around food and restaurants. This has no doubt had some considerable effect on my ability to integrate into Korean society, and certainly affects my views of life in Korea. Confession 3: Before this, I wrote a 3 page rant about Korea… I was trying to write this blog post and it just developed into a looooong, rambly rant.

I consider myself somewhat well traveled. I’ve visited around 30 countries across 4 different continents so far, and I’ve liked all but two of the countries I’ve visited; Bulgaria and Korea.
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Why I Call Myself an Immigrant and Not an Expat

My friend, Reb, posted this on Facebook.

[Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?]

I found it right on the money. If you don’t have time to read for 5 minutes, what are you doing here? But seriously. Summed up, the article says that the term expat is reserved for White people working in foreign countries. It is used as a way to flex White supremacy.

It’s probably not much of a stand coming from a Korean-American who is probably already considered an immigrant whether I’m working in the US or in Korea. Regardless, I can’t pretend that it’s a non-issue and go around calling myself an expat.